The Role of Sport in Student Development – Jip Bartels

This article is a part of Discere’s ‘Insights with Experts’ series, where Discere co-founders Joao and Shyam interview professionals across various industries. Read more here.

Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh Insights With Experts

Welcome back to Insights with Experts!  We are kicking off season 3 with exciting new updates to the podcast. In today's episode, our CEO, Shyam is joined by a co host, Noah Tracey!   In this episode, Shyam and Noah are joined by Thomas Walsh, and expert in investments, startups and mentoring.    Socials!  Instagram: Linkedin:   TikTok: Twitter: 
  1. Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh
  2. Piece Of Advice For New STARTUP Founders! Ken Mocabee
  3. Do you think it's luck?
  4. Are you crazy enough to fail? Leeor Groen – Blockchain Valley Ventures
  5. Emre Buyukkilic on how Gen Z is influencing the future!


In this episode, we’ve been lucky enough to connect with Jip Bartels, currently 27, who is a former Ajax footballer, sporting coach, and Director of Montessori Sports in Australia. Originally from Holland, Jip had his sights on football from a very young age, however, it was during his AFC Ajax days that he experienced three crucial ACL injuries, that would change the course of his life. Shortly after the decision to stop playing professional football, he began to focus on his studies and got a Bachelor of Administration – and Organisation Sciences in combination with the Honours Programme at the VU University Amsterdam. After successful graduation, Jip was awarded the Student Talent of the year award. After finishing his Master Business Administration at the University of Amsterdam in 2017, Jip embarked to Melbourne in 2018 to play in the NPL and pursue his goal of re-shaping the way child-development is viewed through starting Montessori Sports. Outside of his work life, Jip enjoys volunteering in his community through organisations such as On My Feet; a channel to help the homeless population of Australia reach self-sufficiency.

A Quick Summary

When faced with a challenge, we often have two choices. Either, we let it overcome us or we can emerge stronger from the experience. When Jip Bartels faced life-changing injuries that deferred him from his promising football career, it was clear which path he took. While football has had a significant impact on his past, he has been using the skills he developed to pursue following experiences. Specifically stating that it helped him cope with the unpredictability of life and ‘control the controllable’. Evidently showing that sport is a tool which has invaluable benefits across all walks of life. Jip has channeled his passion for physical education through Montessori Sports where he aims to build the presence of sport in child development curriculums.  

As someone who has taken on the stance of both a player and coach. He has built a perspective on the recipe for success. As he put it, success revolves around not only ‘working hard’, but what stimulates a person to work hard. Coming down to two concepts, he views independence and intrinsic motivation as key factors. The best players have taken on a love for independent learning and finding new challenges. However, coaches have just as important a role to play. Judging players on short term success can inhibit long term motivation.

While coaching is his forte, another skill Jip is accustomed to is managing a series of tasks simultaneously. While running a business, Jip finds time to play in the NPL, individually mentor children, and volunteer with various organisations. As students, we often feel a weight of pressure when it comes to managing tasks in an academic environment. It was reported that students in today’s schooling systems show higher levels of stress than psychiatric patients in the 1950s. Jip’s philosophy revolves around finding a purpose to your tasks, as he stated, we need to start with ‘why’. What does this look like? Finding your passion and breaking it down into something you can do every day in a purposeful sense. 

As we concluded our interview, Jip left us with a memorable piece of advice; immerse yourself in opinions you disagree with. Other than suppressing our own opinions, we should be open-minded to learning about others. As he put it, “if we all stay in our bubble where it’s safe and known, we are not going to change much”.

“If we all stay in our bubble where it’s safe and known, we are not going to change much

Jip Bartels

Montessori Sport’s brings a re-defined vision to child development. If you would like to learn more about the exciting things happening at the company, be sure to check out their website.  

Want to get in touch with Jip? Contact him via social media or visit his website.

If you’d like to recommend us an expert to interview, or have any questions, suggestions or feedback in any shape or form, feel free to send us an email:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s